The Giving Tree

Annah Elizabeth2 Comments

Finally! I have been yearning to write this post…and my time has arrived…

Today’s temperatures are a bit more moderate here in the Northeast. Snow mounds abound on every corner and rise high in parking lots. We’ve had two school closures due to snow and one due to a raw chill that dipped to twenty below. Brrrr… The entire country has seen a record-breaking winter. And, do you know, I have yet to build a snow man? I’ve talked about it with my youngest, yet haven’t managed to do it… Hmmmm, maybe tomorrow…

Today I am spending this wintry day on a trip for work. A bit of idle time is affording me opportunity to write. I like these times when I receive money while writing. Ha! Hopefully someday someone will actually pay me to write words. But for now, I am simply enjoying… I think we all look for distraction from dark and dreary days…

What I did do with one of my snow days this past week was to organize my Christmas ornaments and put away Christmas decorations. Yes, you read that right. So many people I know would be shouting out right now–Noooo! You still had your tree up?! Most people I know celebrate the removal of the evergreen and the packing away of all that reminds them of the holiday. “I’m so glad to be done with that,” they proclaim.

But me? I receive the greatest comfort and sense of peace from my tree after the holiday is over. Each day when I arrive home from my first work shift, I turn on the lights. Each evening, upon returning from my second shift, the first thing I do after shedding my winter wear is head straight for the plug. My body sighs with pleasure. After dinner, I curl up on the couch, usually with my laptop, my hubby resting after a hard day’s work in his recliner next to me. When I glance up from the screen, the lights smile back at me, the ornaments dangle like pretty jewelry.

This year, both of my childhood Elf on a Shelf ornaments were placed on bottom branches. The sight of their chubby cheeks and arms wrapped around knees drawn up to chins resurrected a peaceful feeling. None of the childhood angst that resides in many of us. No thought or contemplation or work or adult stress or deadlines… Just glorious winter frosting. Wasn’t that a description in one of Matthew McConaughey’s movies? How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days, I think. Frost yourself, was his character’s ad campaign. My tree was like fine winter jewelry for my living room.

The brittle, falling needles usually force me to remove the tree by mid January. This year, however, the tree continued drinking water, and kept on giving and giving joy. We usually shy away from Spruce trees because they are so prickly. This Spruce, however, didn’t draw blood, and each day after the New Year, I’d test the needles. This simple evergreen offered simple pleasure from three days after Thanksgiving until January 31! Nine weeks of beautiful bliss…

Shel Silverstein first created The Giving Tree, a children’s story about the relationship between a boy and a tree; a story about the tree who provides the boy a lifetime of enjoyment: from swinging branches to wood for his home. I must say that we all enjoyed the tree this year, even the cats who stretched out each night beneath the cover of the branches. And somehow, this year, our home environment seemed especially conducive to the tree’s longevity.

In some ways, I miss the tree and the garlands. More than anything, though, I am glad I removed the tree before it disintegrated. I am happy for the positive memories, thankful for the spirit of giving, that which the season embodies…

How about you? Do you have something in your life that acts as a Giving Tree, of sorts?

Soon…

2 Comments on “The Giving Tree”

  1. I suppose my Giving Tree would be my animals— the neverending source of unconditional love in my life. Their love makes the shedding fur worth it, in contrast to the dropping needles of a Christmas tree. Because our tree is artificial, it looked just as good on day 1 as it did on day 21, when we joyfully dismantled it. In my opinion, the Christmas tree, and all for which it stands, runs its course quickly. Maisie, Clooney and Luna can stay “up” all year long! I never tire of their antics!

  2. Animals are an abundant source of joy! But our cold-climate dog can’t be in the house for more than ten minutes before he is panting to go outside, and the cats, well, they tend to disappear, or are often fickle…

    The tree, on the other hand, was ever present, which seemed to keep the kitties a bit more present, now that I put the two together! But, as a bonus, the tree doesn’t pee, poop, or vomit! 😉

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